The long-accepted practice of sending older adults off to an institution once their abilities begin to decline is gradually being replaced by a kinder, more holistic approach to growing old known as ‘aging in place.’ Aging in place allows seniors to remain close to families and communities as opposed to digging up roots and facing the unknown alone. With the help of friends, family, and private home care agencies, older adults who age in place are rewarded with a wide array of benefits.
There are many emotional reasons an elderly loved one may want to age in place:
- The home is a gathering place for friends and family
- Pride in property ownership and ties to the community
- The home is a source of stability during the volatile aging process
There are also many practical reasons:
- Living at home limits exposure to multi-drug resistant organisms, or MDROs (institutional housing has a higher presence of MDROs, which have been linked to immune system damage and “super bugs”)
- There is no “Relocation Stress” or “Transfer Trauma” (when older adults age in place and receive at-home care, they greatly reduce the risks of sleep disturbance, confusion, withdrawal, depression, and even death)
- Living at home preserves brain function by encouraging regular daily activities such as laundry, gardening, pet care, paying bills, or riding the bus (even if seniors receive help from a family member or home care worker, the benefits remain)
- Aging in place allows seniors to maintain social networks and family ties, which contributes to “environmental complexity”– a factor that provides stimulation and contributes to a longer lifespan
- Due to the growing number of aging adults, health care costs for seniors is on the rise– aging in place is less expensive over time
There are, however, some costs associated with aging in place:
- Housing modifications
- Assistive technology
- Hiring staff from private home care/caregiver agencies
With aging in place, the goal is to establish a balance between aging adults’ evolving needs with the right combination of support, stimulation, and care. This way, seniors can continue to a live a life full of cherished activities and relationships without the risk of isolation and premature cognitive decline.
Cypress Homecare understands the importance of aging in place and provides a comprehensive array of in home care solutions to help support it. To learn more about our thoughtful, diverse, and independence-promoting home care services, call 602-264-8009 or Contact Us Online.